Wendell P. Weeks, chairman and chief executive officer, had a strong message for interns at this year's Chairman's Reception. "Everybody in Corning – their job – is doing life-changing innovations," he said. "Everyone."
The annual reception has been a long-standing Corning tradition. This year's event, held last week in the Headquarters Auditorium in Corning, New York, featured a welcome from Christy Pambianchi, senior vice president, Human Resources; a keynote presentation by Weeks; and a question-and-answer session that gave interns the opportunity to address both leaders directly.
"All of you represent something special from the schools that you are at and the fields that you are studying," Pambianchi said. She also noted that the interns were at Corning at a particularly exciting time in Corning's history. "You are working for the company at a massive inflection point," she said, referring to the growing number of employees and locations worldwide.
Weeks explained how Corning’s innovations have driven company’s long-term success. He posed the question: “How do we sustain institutions in a world of creative destruction?” – referring to the term coined by economist Josef Schumpeter to describe a cycle of incessant industrial mutation and evolution. The answer: “Create. And do it relentlessly.”
Weeks demonstrated how Corning has put that philosophy into action by sharing examples of some of the company’s most successful innovations, including the first glass light bulb, low-loss optical fiber, ceramic substrates for catalytic converters, liquid crystal display glass, and Corning® Gorilla® Glass. He also cited Valor Glass®, a revolutionary pharmaceutical glass packaging solution that Corning introduced last year, as an example of how the company is continuing its track record.
However, Weeks said, it's not only groundbreaking products that make Corning special. "Our passion for innovation drives everything we do," he said.